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over the course of a night i had managed to help get some games going of a few old, more or less dead, PS3 multiplayer games, we played vampire rain: altered species, mindjack, darksector and my favourite, binary domain. we had also tried to get the turok remake, but sadly on ps3 it does not work online, maybe someday we can try that with private servers. all 4 games were almost compltely dead onine, with only mindjack and darksector having any randoms join our games, which was at least funny to see. actually getting in to psn is also a massive chore these days, while last week i had no issues managing to sign in, now sony is forcing a QR code and new password sign in every single time, it's the worst and it makes me hesitate to even use my ps3 online now, which really is just another reason why piracy is generally the way to go on ps3 these days, on top of the ps3 store also just being a mess to navagate, which is a shame as the ps3 is my favourite of that gen's consoles, i was never big into the 360's current dash, it looks like a liminal space and kind of scares me, but i vibe with the wii a lot, just not usually for multiplats and it has its own vibe anyway vs the ps360. using the ps3 online is stable enough though, the store is bad but your ps plus games will still work, many games still have servers up and there's even some like resistance and motorstorm that have fanservers up now, which i imagine will keep getting expanded as time goes on, for most (all except MGS4 and ps home) you don't even need a hacked console, just a change of a few settings you can do in minuites, the XMB is also still very good to use, it's full of options, still the best console media centre by far and just has a ton of customisation that certain consoles like switch, ps5 and even some that ps4 doesn't have, there's no ads and you can tailor it in any way you want, unlike the 3ds you don't even need to hack it to use custom themes, it's great and still one of my favourite console UI's, of course the friend system is a little annoying though, if you have more than a hundred you'll need to add people on the app or via ps4 because the ps3 will just not let you ad anymore, and messaging is also jank but you kind of expect that, the chatrooms is cute though, very neat, it's cool to see the online infrustructure laid bare in all this, and many games even have cool things that games now don't have, invite systems that rely on messages, cute chatrooms with pre-built responces and kaomoji and things like bots being implemented into basic gameplay, it feels a lot less standard, less homogenised, and this too extends to the games, fun modes that are almost one of a kind, early attempts at current staples like asymetrical multiplayer and a lot of jank laid bare that in a modern game would have been ironed out as a flaw, but here it gives the games their own flavour.

the first of these games was vampire rain, a fairly obscure game that is often the point of internet mockery, unfairly called one of the worst games of its gen, but i disagree with this, it's a fantastic game that really shines if you meet it on its own terms, shining as both one of my favourite stealth games, but also favourite horror games. This game has a look, a real look, the shiny textures that are very of that era, the shimmering of almost any distant texture, the very stiff animations and the havok(?) style ragdolls upon death. I love how this game looks, screenshots don't even do it justice, it's ps360 aesthetic in the best way, even giving some views that the main game didnt have, with maps set during dusk without any rain whatsoever, the maps in general don't have any rain, i assume a limitation of how the engine worked with multiplayer. vampy rain, along with games like tenchu Z and bullet witch really show off this specific aesthetic really well and i would say to at least checkout screenshots if you wan't to see what i mean. the game itself plays pretty well too, you got a bunch of modes, a pre-game chat with pre-made lines and kaomojis, i liked to spam "Grant me vengance!", 4 playable character skins and up to 8 players, you can really feel that the game was made with all 8 in mind, as while some maps like plant and hotel work fine with 4, STONE PIT and warehouse are far too big and were comparitively kind of boring, though they all have an atmosphere, with their own tracks and hotel even being kinda scary at times in the upper floor, they are more or less just levels taken from the campaign though, a staple of games of the time and something i'll talk more about as we go on. It plays super well too, like a skungy splinter cell in the best way, you got pipes to climb, wires to zipline and snipers to snipe, you can kind of stealth, i managed to a few times but it mostly divolved into running around and trying to find a bazooka to blow people up, it was great, some maps worked better than others here, mainly the plant and hotel as i mentioned, but hotel does have an even smaller ver for use with 4 players that ended up being the fastest and most fun map, you even have a unique mechanic that sets the multiplayer apart as unique. You can become a nightwalker after taking enough damage, like an early catchup mechanic, there's a funny little distorted autoclip, you transform and then bam, one shot kills on anyone except other vamps and you can sprint and jump entire floors in one go, it's a real power trip and fun for a little chaos, there's even a vampire only mode. this was the game i was the most excited for and it honestly ended up being my real favourite of the night, absolutely try and play this with friends if you can, it's a fantastic time.

the next game we had tried was the classic, mindjack, also maligned by many of the same people as vampire rain, but i also love this game, not many games play like it, it's got one of the most fun stories of a game and it's also just seriously beautiful in a very ps3 way, sophistifuture as thorhighheels called it, game owns. it's multiplayer is very different to vampire rains though, it doesn't have maps in the traditional sense, though it does have map packs that i may one day try out. the game works almost like a soulsy thing, with people invading into story segments and trying to kill the MC, if the host dies then the invaders win, you jack into enemies and just try and kill him it's chaos, expecially when the host also has people protecting him, it's a lot of fun in a very, well, mindjack way, it's chaotic, janky, even a little broken, but it's a lot of fun, even if there isn't much in the way of unique modes or content here, still reccomended just because it's mindjack.

next up was a game i wasn't as familiar with compared to the rest, darksector, while i have played some of it, mostly just the intro, the game is very enjoyable in that it feels like a mix of resident evil 4 along with some gears of war, the game isn't as contravercial as the first two games we played, mostly just forgotten, which is kind of a shame, it's fun and it has a lot of charm in that "mid 2K's edge" kind of way, like the darkness or chaos legion, i love it's vibes. The multiplayer itself is not great though, you only have 2 modes, one of which is interesting in that it's a very early example of an asymetrical multiplayer mode where one player is the main character of the game, complete with his "glaive" (a boomerang of death, basically) and a handgun, with the other players basically trying to take him down as he is the only one that can score points and if one player kills him, they become him for that next round, it's super interesting historically even if it is kind of a mess, shoutouts to the shiny suits the players wear, they look really neat, though the maps themselves are kind of bland, though one had some super cool rain, this mode also showed us one other cool thing, in that it had bots that filled lobbies, though they were broken a lot of the time and just stood still. the other mode is just a variation on this with 2 infected players on teams, much less fun i felt. overall it wasn't the most fun we had but it wasn't a bad time either, just a little confusing and kind of half baked as you couldn't pick weapons and the rounds were always either way too short or way too long, still worth a try i guess.

the last of the night was the most high profile for sure, binary domain, a fantastic game that's gained a large cult following over the years, coming from RGG studios it's got a lot of charm and personally it's one of my favourite shooters. the multiplayer carries over this quality, with fantastic looking maps, a funny taunt system that we kept spamming, lot's of weapon variety and just a lot of overall polish, i could for sure see this mode getting a lot of players if the game ever got a modern remaster with it included. the game had 2 main modes, a normal pvp mode with pretty standad modes and a slightly more interesting survival mode with the games robots as the star. the pvp mode has a few classes and some very big maps, the game does much like vampire rain have maps that feel more designed for a full game of players, but here they are a little better and a little easier to navigate, encounters were frequent and fast, you have a super fast TTK and it gives the game a really fast pace, you can also kill enemies after death with the games little last stands, which were hilarious to see the first few times but i can see it getting a little annoying as time goes on, it's a lot of fun, especially with the shotgun class which feels very powerful, we had a great time here, it was polished, charming and well made. the survival mode too, you got 50 waves to go through and the gunplay with the robots is fun enough that i would absolutely love to commit to the full push sometime, though we only got as far as round 5 as it was getting pretty late, still a good time.

all and all, it was a great night, all 4 games were fun and they had a nice flow to them, each had its charm, some were low budget and skungy, some were more well made and polished, but all were fun, and getting to ressurect them for a night is something i wouldn't trade for anything, i hope one day i can do this with more games, maybe front mission evolved, maybe anarchy reigns, maybe one day even dead games like MAG and resistance 2, and i look foreward to that day immensely.

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